A terrific third album from Benji, brilliantly capturing the infectious dynamism which characterises both his solo and band gigs. In line with the material (the songs here are all self-penned, bar one Band cover) the production is racier than on the more traditional Half a Fruit Pie, for which credit must go to Megson’s Stu Hannah - the studio magus whose wizardry has, for me, been one of the year’s big discoveries, doing recorded justice to Benji, Faustus and Mawkin:Causley.
Immaculate, radio-friendly compression blends multi-tracked vocals with startling, sensitive FX, to energise songs which only rarely venture into the navel-gazing quagmire beloved by so many singer-songwriters - and even then, as in the ode to paternity ’More Life’ or the magnificently misanthropic ’People’, do so with a charm and honesty made all the more refreshing by the absence of similar heart-pouring elsewhere. For that’s the single most impressive thing about Boomerang: namely, Benji’s determination to sing not of himself, but others - other things, other people and other stories.
It’s testament to his success - particularly in standout tracks like ’Wallbreaker’ and ’Willow Weeps’ - that this listener, typically all too fussy, merrily excused the occasional lyrical lapse in favour of relishing one of the most vital albums thrown up by the folk world this year.